Monthly Archives: February 2017

HONONI’s Mean More to a Rural Bookstore

Kenny Brechner - February 9, 2017

When your bookstore is in an urban center HONONI’s have happened and continue to happen all the time. They are important of course, but unexceptional and a matter of course. If your bookstore is in a rural town, however, a HONONI is an absolute singularity and a huge big deal. All right, slow down you say. What are HONONI’s, and did I coin that acronym just now? HONONI’s are Harbingers of Nonfiction of National Interest, historical events which spawn nationally released nonfiction books. Let’s face it, notable historical events happen all the time in cities. Take Boston, for example.  A giant wave of molasses that immolates a whole neighborhood? Boston had one of those. The Boston Tea Party, even the title rubs it in. If you have a bookstore in an urban area, or even a suburban area, big nonfiction releases set locally happen regularly.
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The Book That Made You Fall in Love with Books

Elizabeth Bluemle - February 7, 2017

At a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt dinner for author Benjamin Saenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe), several booksellers, and HMH director of field sales Jen Reynolds, gathered at a Minneapolis restaurant during Winter Institute. As happens at these dinners, the conversation ranged far and wide; this one covered everything from bootlegging and brothels in 1940s Mexico to poetry, depression, and art, to diversity in the children’s book field, to hookup patterns in 21st-century gay culture. In other words, your typical youth literature discussion.
Mr. Saenz was in Minneapolis to share his upcoming YA novel, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life (Clarion, March 7). As in Aristotle and Dante, the characters both are and are not himself, and friendship, family, and the recognition/creation of the self are at the core of the story. We all had a lot to talk about.
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No Place for Hate

Meghan Dietsche Goel - February 3, 2017

Like many bookstores right now, BookPeople is actively talking about using our platform to better represent diverse voices, to champion the spirit of inclusivity, and to keep making our store a safe space for all members of our community. Elizabeth Bluemle and Leslie Hawkins have written this week about some concrete actions their stores are taking. I wanted to chime in to talk about some ways BookPeople has begun partnering with the Anti-Defamation League in our area and to provide links to some resources that might interest other stores.
As I’m sure you know, ADL has been fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry and protecting civil rights for all for over a century – a mission that could not be more critical right now. They’ve also been working with Austin schools since 2004 through the No Place for Hate® initiative. From what I’ve seen and heard from Austin educators, it’s a truly innovative program that provides a framework for schools to combat hatred and bias by building environments of respect that allow all students to thrive. I knew about ADL’s excellent programming in the schools, but I didn’t realize how much they focus on books to engage kids in conversations about bias and bullying and social justice.
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WI12: Judith Rosen’s Last Stand

Kenny Brechner - February 2, 2017

As some of you may know Judith Rosen is retiring from being PW’s bookselling editor following her reports on the just concluded Winter Institute 12. I have long considered Judith a good friend but I am afraid that I must report that a dark side of her professional character revealed itself here in Minneapolis.
You might think, in the context of all the pressing issues of social justice and inclusion in the bookselling community that came into focus during the conference, that Judith would have elevated her personal focus. As it turned out, despite doing a stellar job of reporting on the conference, she exhibited a competitive nature towards me personally that was truly shocking. It was almost as though she were determined to not only highlight the fact that she was a professional journalist while I was an amateur hack, but to prevent me from reporting on the institute at all. Even worse she appeared bent on forestalling me from fulfilling my responsibilities as both an ABA Board Advisory Council member and a presenter. Here, I’ll show you.
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